Category Archives: Missiles & Guided Weapons

Joint Strike Missile

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) has entered into contract with Japan to supply the initial deliveries of JSM (Joint Strike Missile) for their fleet of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircrafts.

KONGSBERG awarded Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan
KONGSBERG awarded Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan

The JSM development started in 2008 and was completed in mid-2018 after a series of successful validation test firings.

«This is an important international breakthrough which demonstrates the importance of cooperation between Norwegian authorities, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and Norwegian industry», says CEO of KONGSBERG Geir Håøy.

The JSM is the only long-range sea- and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35 Lightning II and thus ensuring the aircraft’s low-signature (stealth) capabilities. JSM is a new missile that will expand the overall capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II. No other weapon on the market today, can perform the same types of missions.

«The international F-35 Lightning II user consortium is showing great interest in the JSM and KONGSBERG is very proud to have been selected by Japan to provide the JSM for their F-35 Lightning II fleet. This is a major milestone for the JSM program, entering into the production phase», says Eirik Lie, President, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

Air-launched missile

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $322.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program.

Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)
Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)

The AARGM-ER program is leveraging the AARGM that is currently in production. The AARGM-ER will be integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.

«AARGM-ER extended range coupled with AARGM lethality will meet a critical defense suppression requirement while protecting our strike aviators», said Cary Ralston, vice president, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman.

AARGM is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat aircraft.

Wind tunnel tests

Raytheon Company successfully completed more than 1,700 rigorous wind tunnel tests on the newest, extended-range variant of the combat-proven Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). Testing is a major step in the missile’s qualification for integration with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

Raytheon engineers recently completed wind tunnel testing on a new, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a key step in qualifying the missile for the NASAMS launch system
Raytheon engineers recently completed wind tunnel testing on a new, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a key step in qualifying the missile for the NASAMS launch system

The AMRAAM-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER) missile is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The missile’s bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms give it a boost in range.

«During these tests, we put AMRAAM-ER through a full range of potential flight conditions to validate the missile’s future performance on the battlefield», said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. «Raytheon is developing this missile to enhance ground-based air defense for our customers worldwide».

Raytheon engineers will now analyze data from the wind tunnel test runs to verify and update the AMRAAM-ER missile’s aerodynamic models to maximize its performance.

Raytheon AMRAAM-ER Missile Goes Long and Flies High

 

About NASAMS

Manufactured by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, NASAMS is the most widely used short- and medium-range air defense system in NATO. NASAMS provides a high-firepower, networked and distributed state-of-the-art air defense system that can quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving threat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and emerging cruise missile threats.

 

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 97 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber and Intelligence (C5I) products and services, sensing, effects and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.

LAV-AT Modernization

The Marine Corps continues to upgrade the turret system for one of its longest-serving fighting vehicles – the Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-Tank (LAV-AT).

Anti-Tank Weapon Systems are mounted on Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank variants at Camp Pendleton, California. The LAV Team at Marine Corps Systems Command continues to provide new equipment training to units receiving the Anti-Tank Weapon System upgrade, with the final two training evolutions scheduled for early this year. Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the ATWS is expected at the end of fiscal year 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by CWO4 Michael Lovell)
Anti-Tank Weapon Systems are mounted on Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank variants at Camp Pendleton, California. The LAV Team at Marine Corps Systems Command continues to provide new equipment training to units receiving the Anti-Tank Weapon System upgrade, with the final two training evolutions scheduled for early this year. Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the ATWS is expected at the end of fiscal year 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by CWO4 Michael Lovell)

In September 2017, Marine Corps Systems Command’s LAV-AT Modernization Program Team achieved initial operational capability by completing the fielding of its first four Anti-Tank Light Armored Vehicles with the upgraded Anti-Tank Weapon Systems (ATWS) to Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Marines.

The ATWS fires the tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided – or TOW – missiles. It provides long-range stand-off anti-armor fire support to maneuvering Light Armored Reconnaissance companies and platoons. The ATWS also provides an observational capability in all climates, as well as other environments of limited visibility, thanks to an improved thermal sight system that is similar to the Light Armored Vehicle 25-mm variant fielded in 2007.

«Marines using the new ATWS are immediately noticing the changes, including a new far target location capability, a commander/gunner video sight display, a relocated gunner’s station, and an electric elevation and azimuth drive system, which replaced the previous noisy hydraulic system», said Steve Myers, LAV program manager.

«The ATWS also possesses a built-in test capability, allowing the operators and maintainers to conduct an automated basic systems check of the ATWS», he said.

The LAV-ATM Team continues to provide new equipment training to units receiving the ATWS upgrade, with the final two training evolutions scheduled for early this year. Training consists of a 10-day evolution with three days devoted to the operator and seven days devoted to maintaining the weapon system. Follow-on training can be conducted by the unit using the embedded training mode within the ATWS.

«This vehicle equips anti-tank gunner Marines with a modern capability that helps them maintain readiness and lethality to complete their mission», said Major Christopher Dell, LAV Operations officer.

Full operational capability for the ATWS is expected at the end of fiscal year 2019.

«Currently, there are 58 in service within the active fleet», said Myers. «The original equipment manufacturer delivered 91 of the 106 contracted kits and is ahead of schedule. Now MCSC’s focus is directed at the Marine Corps Forces Reserve, ensuring they receive the same quality NET and support as their active counterparts».

LAV Anti-Tank Weapon System to reach FOC by end of 2019
LAV Anti-Tank Weapon System to reach FOC by end of 2019

Ukrainian Missile

The tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region.

Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)
Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)

According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system.

«The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets», – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers.

Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped.

In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked.

«According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast», – Mr. Turchynov noticed.

After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.

Brazilian Missile

According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Brazilian Navy on Tuesday (November 27) launched the first prototype of the National Anti-Ship Missile (Míssil Antinavio Nacional de Superfície, or MANSUP), 300 km/186 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)
The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)

The test confirmed the correct functioning of several subsystems, and the need for improvement in some others. Data of its in-flight behavior were recorded by telemetry, also developed in Brazil and, after it is analyzed, will guide the next development steps and launches.

The MANSUP is 5.6 meters/18.4 feet long, weighs about a tonne/2,205 lbs. and accelerates to a speed of 540 knots/621 mph/1,000 km/h in less than seven seconds.

This Strategic Project was started 10 years ago in partnership with several national contractors: AVIBRAS, responsible for the propulsion; SIATT, which develops the guidance system, control and telemetry; OMNISYS, which designs the target detection radar; and the EZUTE Foundation, which assists in coordinating the necessary work.

The data obtained with this launch will allow to continue the evolution of this project developed with exclusively national technology, and which place our country in the select group of manufacturers of missiles of this size.

First Firing

MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development.

The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory
The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory

The firing trial was carried out on 9 November in an Italian test range. The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.

Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, commented: «This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets. The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters. Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow as well as further develop competencies and know-how».

The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements. Having completed the 18 months System Definition Phase, the full integration of Marte ER on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding at pace in order to implement an anti-ship capability onto the fighter.

Full Rate Production

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $171 million contract for Lot 7 Full Rate Production (FRP) of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The contract will deliver advanced capability to U.S. warfighters as well as the Italian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to counter the accelerating proliferation of surface-to-air threats.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target
Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target

«The rapid proliferation of today’s threats require the most advanced solution to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats and protect our nation and allies», said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman. «AARGM is an affordable, game-changing solution and we are proud to provide this capability to the warfighter».

AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with capability to perform destruction of enemy air defense missions. AARGM is the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.

AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Italian Air Force (ItAF) recently completed operational testing of AARGM on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. A series of flight tests culminated with direct hits on critical air defense threat targets, confirming the operational effectiveness and suitability of AARGM on the Italian Air Force Tornado and allowing the Italian Air Force to transition AARGM into operational squadrons.

Initial Production

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system has successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board review and achieved milestone C. The signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum approves the JAGM system to enter into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Milestone C Decision, Enabling Low-Rate Initial Production
Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Milestone C Decision, Enabling Low-Rate Initial Production

JAGM is a multi-sensor air-to-ground missile that is the successor to the combat proven HELLFIRE Romeo and HELLFIRE Longbow missiles. Backward compatible with all rotary wing and fixed wing platforms that fire the HELLFIRE family of missiles, JAGM employs a multi-mode guidance section that offers enhanced performance on the battlefield. The multimode seeker combines improved Semi-Active Laser and millimeter wave radar sensors providing precision strike and fire-and-forget capability against stationary and moving land and maritime targets in adverse weather and obscured battlefield conditions.

JAGM flight tests, including ten Limited User Test flights, were completed across the performance envelope and target requirements over a period of months leading up to the successful milestone C decision. The test results demonstrated the system’s combat effectiveness and technical maturity. Additionally, the program successfully conducted supplier and prime contractor production readiness reviews establishing the program’s readiness to move into LRIP.

The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a 24-month contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the JAGM program which included JAGM production, test qualification and integration on the AH-64E Apache and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. The EMD phase also established an initial low-rate manufacturing capability in support of three follow-on LRIP options, with U.S. Army Initial Operational Capability expected early 2019.

The JAGM system hardware that demonstrated over 95 percent reliability in flight testing is built on the active HELLFIRE missile family production line by the same team that has produced over 75,000 missiles with a fielded reliability exceeding 97 percent.

CAMM interceptor

MBDA’s Land Ceptor air defence system has successfully destroyed its target during an end-to-end system demonstration firing at the Vidsel Test Range in Sweden, an important milestone for the project prior to entry to service with the British Army.

Land Ceptor on target in latest success for MBDA’s CAMM interceptor
Land Ceptor on target in latest success for MBDA’s CAMM interceptor

Land Ceptor utilises the proven Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) currently in production and delivering a common stockpile to meet the air defence needs of both the British Army and the Royal Navy (as Sea Ceptor). In British Army service Land Ceptor will replace the current Rapier air defence system and provides a step-change in capability, including over triple the range and the ability to intercept a much more challenging target set.

The system demonstration trial showcased the maturity of the Land Ceptor system across a full engagement sequence. This included launcher deployment; munition loading; receipt of air tracks from a Giraffe-AMB radar; air track processing by Land Ceptor’s onboard Command and Control (C2) system; and execution of a full engagement chain, with two-way data exchange with the missile during its mid-course fly-out phase, and successful interception and destruction of a target using the missile’s seeker in the terminal phase.

Land Ceptor with CAMM is the latest generation of air defence system, providing exceptional capability from very short ranges (VSHORAD) below 1 km/3,281 feet into the Medium Range Air Defence (MRAD) tier beyond 25 km/15.5 miles. Key features of CAMM are its next generation solid-state active radar seeker, two-way data-link, low-signature rocket motor and its 360° soft-vertical launch system. These combine to enable the missile to rapidly intercept the most challenging and dangerous of threats including saturation attacks from precision guided munitions and manoeuvring high-speed missiles emerging late from low altitude and from multiple directions simultaneously.

The demonstration in Vidsel coincides with the transition into production of the Land Ceptor weapon system, which will now undergo system-of-system integration and test as part of the British Army’s Sky Sabre air defence architecture. It is the latest in a series of highly successful trials of CAMM and its related systems over several years that have consistently proven its maturity and game changing performance.

 

About CAMM family of missile systems

The Royal Navy has recently conducted a large set of service acceptance trials of its related Sea Ceptor system. Sea Ceptor, which uses the same CAMM interceptor, has been introduced into service to replace the Vertical Launch Seawolf system on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. The Sea Ceptor system provides a major step-change in capability for the Royal Navy’s frigates, as they will

gain the ability to protect other ships within their local area, in addition to having an excellent self-defense capability. Sea Ceptor will also be fitted to the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 and Type 31e frigates.

Land Ceptor is the UK launch configuration of the Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) product family. EMADS brings together best-of-breed systems and technologies from across MBDA’s European base to save time, development costs and provide a flexible system for air defence provision. EMADS has been designed for ease of integration with existing equipment and infrastructure through modular design and use of standard interfaces. CAMM is a family of missiles that includes CAMM-ER (Extended Range) which shares all the same components as CAMM other than a larger rocket motor to extend its range out to beyond 40 km/25 miles.